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Premier League

West Brom will not rush manager appointment

West Brom will make no knee-jerk appointment as they look to replace axed head coach Roberto Di Matteo, Press Association Sport understands.

The Baggies ended Di Matteo's 18-month reign yesterday after 13 defeats in their last 18 games spanning all competitions, putting him on 'gardening leave'.

Already the likes of Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, Chris Hughton, former Albion skipper Derek McInnes and ex-West Brom player Martin Jol are being linked with a move to the Hawthorns.

But sources close to Albion insist no replacement for Di Matteo had been lined up before the decision was taken by the board to dispense of the 40-year-old Italian's services.

They have enough confidence in first-team coach Michael Appleton - now in temporary charge - to do a competent job while the search goes on.

Former West Brom midfielder Appleton has been coaching at the Hawthorns for five years and has the respect of the players - a crucial factor for the forthcoming home games with West Ham and Wolves.

Appleton may even be considered as a candidate - in the same way as Steve Kean has been promoted from within at Blackburn - if he proves his worth in the hotseat.

The next head coach will also have to be willing to work alongside sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth.

West Brom legend and club record goalscorer Tony 'Bomber' Brown believes Di Matteo should have been given more time to revive the club's fortunes.

Brown said: "I am in shock. It is happened so quick. It is all down to results.

"They've had this bad spell and the chairman has decided the manager has got to go. It's as simple as that.

"I think every Albion fan will be shocked with it happening like this.

"I think Di Matteo deserved a bit longer. We are in mid-stream. What is going to happen now, who is going to take over, who is going to lead the ship?

"It's a big job for whoever takes over. It is easy to get rid of your manager. We've had quite a lot.

"All it does is cause confusion again at a vital part of the season.

"It has got to be someone who is going to get the lads behind him otherwise you are in a bit of a mess."